Tag: Northwich Victoria

Chester FC & Northwich Victoria: Poles Apart In The Same Division

End of season title deciders in non-league football have a tendency to bring out vastly inflated crowds which hint at the potential of a club were it to be playing at a higher level, and this weekend was no exception with a crowd of 5,009 people turning out at The Exacta Stadium in Chester to see Chester FC draw 1-1 with Northwich Victoria to lift the Premier Division title in the Northern Premier League. Yet this was far from being so much as an ‘ordinary’ end of season title decider, because seldom have two clubs both circling at the top of a division had such differing prognoses for the future.  Yesterday’s match brought Chester their second successive championship since their reformation after the mid-season financial collapse and closure in 2010, and promotion to the Blue Square Bet North for the start of next season marks the arrival of the club in the division that the original Chester City might have found itself had it been allowed to continue to limp along under its previous, thoroughly discredited ownership. That the club needed to be allowed to die and be reborn during the 2009/10 season was a truth that was an uncomfortable one to have to swallow, but the reborn club’s success has vindicated those that boycotted the club during its final weeks in order to force the issue. More importantly than that,...

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An Incredible And Uncredible “Rescue Plan” For Northwich Victoria

The news, such as it is, from Northwich Victoria continues to baffle and perplex. The last time we heard from this particular club, it was starting to sound as if the proverbial fat lady was starting to clear her voice. With crowds already having dropped following their eviction from the Victoria Stadium in January, it was announced on Friday afternoon that, from the start of next season, the Vics will be sharing the Martson Road home of Stafford Rangers, more than forty miles from Northwich’s base in Cheshire. The question of how many people will be expected to follow them on such a tortuous round journey for home league matches has yet to answered by the club. Earlier this week, however, there was news, of sorts. It didn’t come from an official source, and it has yet to be confirmed by the club itself, but it has been announced that the clubs official supporters club is to be relaunched and that a fund is to be opened to facilitate the contruction of a new stadium in the clubs immediate vicinity. Details are simultaneously sketchy and detailed. The idea seems to be the brain-wave of one Steve McNally, but McNally’s involvement at the club has also caused considerable confusion amongst the clubs support, McNally doesn’t claim to be a supporter of the club and as much as we know about...

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Time For A Fresh Start For Northwich Victoria Supporters

Seldom in recent years can there have been a greater contrast between a clubs performance on the pitch and the condition in which it finds itself away from it. Northwich Victoria, of the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League find themselves continuing to challenge for a play-off place for promotion into the Blue Square Bet North for next season, but such considerations have come to pale in comparison with a state of absolute chaos off of it. Evicted from their ground earlier this year and with an attempt to ground-share elsewhere now apparently in tatters, the future of the club now lays in ruins thanks to the hopeless mismanagement of one individual. Yet again. Jim Rushe, the current owner of the club, has managed quite an achievement in managing to run the club even closer to the ground than his predecessors did. Northwich left its home, The Drill Field, one of world football’s oldest continually used homes, in 2005 for the newly-built Victoria Stadium, but the new ground has come to a millstone around the clubs neck. An attempt by the clubs previous owner – and, for a while, still the owner of the ground – Mike Connett ended in an attempt to evicted the club which ended in failure when Connetts company collapsed into receivership, but this lucky break only provided temporary respite for one of our...

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Tales From The Deep End: Non-League Football’s Difficult Start To 2012

This year has been a difficult year so far for several of our non-league clubs. Mike Bayly has a round-up of what has been going on at the foot of football’s food chain.  By any measure of austerity, it’s been a fairly turbulent week in the world of non-league football. On Sunday evening, the main stand at Rossendale United’s vacant Dark Lane ground was completely destroyed in what police are treating as a suspected arson attack. The fire was just one in a long line of depressing incidents at the ground over the last couple of years. In June 2011, the programme sellers hut was burnt out following an “arson incident” with other acts of theft and vandalism causing significant damage to the troubled venue. Coupled with accusations that the club was being mismanaged and left to stagnate, the Lancashire side were expelled from the North West Counties League at the end of last season after failing to pay their membership fees. There had been talk of a Phoenix Club – Rossendale FC – reforming in the near future, though whether their intention was to play at the Dark Lane ground which is still owned by Rossendale United’s former chairman Andrew Connolly is unclear. As an epitaph, there was a macabre inevitability about it all. Set against the backdrop of a gloomy windswept housing estate, the club struggled for long periods...

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Further Uncertainty At Northwich Victoria

There is, perhaps, no other non-league club that sums up the cycle of perpetual crisis in which so many smaller football clubs find themselves than Northwich Victoria, and there can seldom be a day that goes by during which supporters of the seemingly perpetually beleagured Northern Premier League club don’t curse the decision to leave their historic home, The Drill Field, for The Victoria Stadium. If such a thing exists, though, the curse of The Victoria Stadium has now struck again with the news that Northwich have had to call off their match this evening in the Northern Premier League against Kendal Town and that the club has now been charged by the league with failing to fulfil a fixture, a sanction which we can expect will bring a points deduction and a financial penalty of some description. Northwich have spent two periods in administration during the last seven years. The first, in 2004, saw them deducted ten points whilst playing in the Blue Square Premier and, while the team managed to haul itself just above the relegation places, it was subsequently relegated after FA deadlines over the transfer of their Conference membership to the club’s new owners were not met. The club managed to get back into the BSP but it was put up for sale in 2007 and was purchased by a consortium led by Jim Rushe. The Victoria...

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